Fantasy Fox: Mock-draft simulation when holding No. 6 slot
JUN 23, 2014 11:53a ET
Here's a dry run of draft expectations when holding the No. 6 slot in 12-team leagues (standard scoring), citing a live mock draft from June 19 (first one of the summer).
For what it's worth, the first five picks were: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy.
Round 1, Pick 6 overall: Motive -- Best overall player, preferably tailback
1st option: RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
2nd option: QB Peyton Manning, Broncos
3rd option: RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers
BREAKDOWN: The whole fun of mock drafting involves not taking a quarterback high in Round 1 or 2. Theoretically speaking, mockers should want to push the boundaries of value with passers, in terms of waiting as long as humanly possible before landing a top-7 QB.
That aside, in a real draft, Peyton Manning (5,477 yards passing, 55 TDs last year -- both single-season NFL records) would most likely be the choice in Round 1. It's a sensible move, even with Broncos staring at four dates witht the NFC West this season.
On the flip side, Doug Martin is still the same stud who crushed the opposition for 1,926 total yards (1,454 rushing) and 12 touchdowns as a rookie in 2012. And last we checked, he didn't suffer any devastating knee or ankle or Lisfranc (mid-foot sprain) injuries last year, before going down in Week 7.
The only caveat: If you're going to spend a high pick on Martin ... prioritize the handcuff act of taking rookie Charles Sims in the latter rounds.
There are genuine concerns with Lynch, as well: Backups Christine Michael and Robert Turbin are ready for expanded roles within the Seattle offense, thus decreasing Lynch's chances of replicating last year's stellar tallies with touches (337), touchdowns (14) or total yards (1,573).
Tough call between the running backs ... but Lynch (39 TDs from 2011-13) gets the nod, especially since Martin could be available in Round 2.
Round 2, Pick 19 overall: Motive -- Best overall player
1st option: WR Brandon Marshall, Bears
2nd option: QB Drew Brees, Saints
3rd option: WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys
BREAKDOWN: For standard-scoring leagues, I subscribe to the notion of landing four running backs in the first seven rounds. But it's also imperative to secure a top-five receiver when holding a choice late in Round 2.
Which brings us to this: There is no clear line of demarcation separating Brandon Marshall (100 catches, 164 targets, 1,295 yards, 12 TDs last year) and Dez Bryant (93 catches, 159 targets, 1,249 yards, 13 TDs) ... but there are tiebreakers for the 2014 season:
Round 3, Pick 30 overall: Motive -- Best overall player
1st option: RB C.J. Spiller, Bills
2nd option: RB Reggie Bush, Lions
3rd option: WR Alshon Jeffery, Bears
BREAKDOWN: Spiller, who has averaged 1,410 total yards over the last two seasons, only averaged 243 touches during that span; and heading into his fifth NFL campaign, this is the year Spiller hits that elite-level threshold of 275 touches.
On the flip side, it's hard to nail down a concrete Average Draft Position (ADP) figure for Spiller at this time. Some prominent Web sites have him pegged as a top-five tailback for 2014, while others have him as barely a top-60 overall pick for the August drafts.
Round 4, Pick 43 overall: Motive -- Best overall player
1st option: RB Rashad Jennings, Giants
2nd option: WR Keenan Allen, Chargers
3rd option: QB Matthew Stafford, Lions
BREAKDOWN: Of his seven games of 15 or more touches last year (with the Raiders), Rashad Jennings rolled for either 100 total yards and/or one TD seven times. And yet, he could easily be had midway through Round 4.
Last month, I had Jennings (1,025 total yards, six TDs) ranked as the No. 20 tailback ... but he has the potential to leap another 3-4 slots by mid-August. After all, the new Giants rusher averaged 112 total yards and one TD against the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles in 2013.
Round 5, Pick 54 overall: Motive -- Best overall player, preferably QB
1st option: QB Robert Griffin III, Redskins
2nd option: WR Wes Welker, Broncos
3rd option: RB Steven Jackson, Falcons
BREAKDOWN: Matthew Stafford (No. 51 overall) and Andrew Luck (No. 52) were selected just ahead of my Round 5 pick, hastening the urgency to grab a high-end quarterback at this spot.
Of course, if I hadn't grabbed Griffin (3,692 total yards, 16 TDs last year -- 13 starts) at No. 54, I likely would have waited until Round 8 to pluck either Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton or Nick Foles from the board.
This speaks to the absurd depth at quarterback in the fantasy realm. Griffin tallied 300 yards and/or three touchdowns in eight of his first 10 games last year ... and yet, the 'buzz factor' surrounding him, as a potential fantasy savior in 2014, is considerably less than the 2012 regular season or 2013 preseason.
Thank god Griffin has Pierre Garcon (113 catches, 1,346 yards, five TDs), DeSean Jackson (82 catches, 1,332 yards, nine TDs with the Eagles last year) and tight Jordan Reed (17 catches, 23 targets, 224 yards, one TD for Weeks 7-8) as his three primary passing weapons.
Otherwise, RG3 might have been deemed a Round 9 or 10 afterthought heading into training camp (read: sarcasm).
Round 6, Pick 67 overall: Motive -- Best overall player
1st option: RB Stevan Ridley, Patriots
2nd option: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
3rd option: RB Bishop Sankey, Titans
BREAKDOWN: Ridley (19 total touchdowns over the last two seasons) tallied all seven of his 2013 regular-season TDs from Weeks 6-11. That's great spurt production from a back who has finally seen the light on the importance of ball preservation -- we think.
BREAKDOWN: If Kendall Wright (94 catches, 1,079 yards last year) played in a bigger media market or had more consistent quarterbacking with the Titans, perhaps he'd be an easy pick for Rounds 6 or 7.
Instead, the lucky owners from Round 8 are allowed to daydream about a high-upside asset who collected eight or more targets nine times last year -- with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting nine games for Tennessee.
Round 11, Pick 126 overall: Motive -- Best wide receiver
1st option: WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
2nd option: WR James Jones, Raiders
3rd option: WR Tavon Austin, Rams
BREAKDOWN: Don't fall asleep on Dwayne Bowe's rock-solid production at the end of last year:
From Week 9 to the wild-card round, the Chiefs wideout tallied four games of double-digit targets and four touchdowns -- including an eight-catch, 150-yard, one-TD demolition of the Colts during the playoffs.
Round 14, Pick 163 overall: Motive -- Best value pick
1st option: WR Denarius Moore, Raiders
2nd option: TE Eric Ebron, Lions
3rd option: QB Joe Flacco, Ravens
BREAKDOWN: In a regular draft, I probably would have fought harder to land a second tight end, behind Martellus Bennett.
In fact, that might have been the case for this mock anyway, if Eborn and Bennett didn't share the same bye (Week 9).
Instead, Denarius Moore (my 35th-ranked wide receiver) represents a luxury value pick, or a start/trade-worthy placeholder until we're faced with a bye-week, roster-spot dilemma involving kickers, tight ends or defense/special teams.
Round 15, Pick 174 overall: Motive -- Best backup quarterback
1st option: QB Joe Flacco, Ravens
2nd option: RB Charles Sims, Buccaneers
3rd option: QB Eli Manning, Giants
BREAKDOWN: Flacco is currently my 16th-ranked fantasy quarterback, offering strong value here in Round 15. As a bonus, Flacco (3,912 yards passing, 20 total TDs last year) has an attractive home date against the Titans in Week 10 -- when Griffin and the Redskins are on a bye.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.